Workshop addresses Vt. Act 148 law: no food waste in landfills

— The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is co-sponsoring a workshop titled “Reducing Food Waste Through Source Reduction” with Vermont Technical College and US EPA on Dec. 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Judd Hall, at the Vermont Technical College’s Randolph campus.

The Agency of Natural Resources initiated planning of this workshop in response to Act 148–Vermont’s new legislation banning the disposal of food waste in landfills-that includes a phased-in ban of organic waste, including food scraps, going to landfills. The largest generators of food waste such as universities, hospitals and large supermarkets will be the first to comply with this new law as early as 2014.

Justin Johnson, Deputy Commissioner, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation says “Nationally, food waste accounts for almost 15 percent of the waste stream. The first step in managing food waste is reducing the amount of food waste we generate in the first place. Although we anticipate that much of the food waste generated in the state will go to composting or anaerobic digestion facilities, there are multiple ecological and community benefits derived from reducing waste and rescuing food that is still edible to feed to people through local organizations.”

The workshop will address a variety of key issues, including the potential financial savings and environmental benefits from food waste reduction; the new requirements faced by generators of large quantities of food waste; opportunities to decrease production of food waste, increase waste tracking; and case studies on successful food waste reduction programs.

Representatives from leading organizations including Ben and Jerry’s, Hannaford Bros. Co, Fletcher Allen Health Care, US EPA, and the Vermont Food Bank will share stories of what their organizations are doing to decrease the amount of food waste going to landfills or composting facilities.

Christy Cook, Senior Manager, Sustainability Deployment, Sodexho and Andrew Shakman, Co-Founder and President, LeanPath will present a detailed approach, including a case study, on how to institute waste tracking procedures to decrease the amount of waste generated for large generators.

Nora Goldstein is the keynote speaker. Goldstein is the editor of BioCycle Magazine, the country’s foremost magazine on composting, organics recycling, anaerobic digestion and renewable energy

This workshop is the second in a four-part series called GroundWork that is being sponsored by Vermont Technical College’s Institute for Applied Agriculture and Food Systems. For registration details visit VTC’s website at www.vtc.edu/groundwork. For more information or scholarships contact: Ivansteamburg@vtc.edu or call 802-728-1339.

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